I’m someone who has, over the course of decades, collected various “Best Of” Lists of must-read Crime & Mystery books...and if you do that, and you try to be fairly completist (“fairly completist?” - “hey, some books are hard to get, that’s what fairly completist means, get off me.”), you will have no choice but to knock off lots of Sayers over time.
H.R.F. Keating’s (ancient) reading guide called Crime & Mystery: The Hundred Best Books, got me to read The Nine Tailors, and The Documents in the Case...the latter still being one of my favorite Crime Novels ever; I just went nuts for it. and yes, The Nine Tailors is also spectacular, and lives up to its reputation. status: Tigus made an instant Sayers fan, very willing to read beyond the List in question.
next List: a book called 100 Great Detectives, and the first I’m hearing of Montague Egg, a Sayers creation. Egg what? Montague who...is this an alias for Wimsey, somehow? no no, no. some other dude in short stories - two choices to pick from in terms of books with Egg (rules for this List, as cooked up by me, meant that I had to read at least one book featuring each detective discussed, not every single book!; ah, the “fairweather completist in action...”). okay, so I read all the stories in In The Teeth Of Evidence, some featuring the Egg fellow. oh, and of course Wimsey is another detective featured in 100 Great Detectives - I mean, if Montague Egg gets to squeeze on the List, how is Wimsey going to be missing...so, New Rule: Tigus must read a book featuring any detective spotlighted...no using The Nine Tailors as my representative, because the author should be given fresh attention. Murder Must Advertise selected and read. status: Tigus preferred the earlier two picks from the Keating List, but happy with all Sayers experiences.
maybe, I should have read Gaudy Night by this time, instead of...ah! new List! The Crown Crime Companion. some subsections to do with sub genres...but a “main“ List called ‘The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time”. okay, now this is where you get to see where opinions can differ as to what’s “best”; no sign of Gaudy Night when it came to Keating, but this new List has Gaudy Night at #18, best all time, and The Nine Tailors waiting to show up at #28. Murder Must Advertise and Clouds of Witness also appearing on the List. status: Gaudy Night turned out to be terrific...but, sadly, Tigus has not bothered to get to Clouds of Witness yet. soon, maybe, but...
yet another List: ‘Robin W. Winks’s Personal Mystery Favorites’, featured in a Book full of reading Lists called The Armchair Detective Book of Lists. Strong Poison, neglected and overlookable so far, makes this huge List (plus Gaudy Night and The Nine Tailors, but hey, been there done those). status: starting Strong Poison later today!
as for Clouds of Witness, Martin Edwards has listed it in The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, so there was no point ignoring it on an earlier List. it’s back! and one day I’ll read, uh, the, y’know, the first one in the series as well...
this fun trip down Memory Lane - showing that if you acquire, let’s say, up to at least 3 Crime & Mystery reading lists, you’ll be prompted to read a whole pile of Sayers, so you might as well dig in anywhere - brought to you by a quiet Saturday afternoon between books.